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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Daily Hassles
"That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent."
Chinese proverb

We could all agree on the amount of stress caused by such major players as divorce, problem kids, bankruptcy, unemployment, moving, ill family members, grief, health problems, chronic pain, job changes, excessive bills, etc. Events of this kind are expected to bring about stress and all the ills that go with it.

But what about the more common contributors, the minor players we refer to as daily hassles? Most people would be surprised to learn that an unhappy marriage, for example, actually causes more stress than a divorce. Remaining in a job that you hate? Every bit as stressful as not having a job.

Traffic, unruly children, long commutes, time constraints, interfering in-laws, nosy neighbors, dieting, clutter - they aren't just pains, they're painful.

If you were to write down, daily for the next two weeks, things which annoyed you or things you'd term "hassles", you'd be amazed at the number. The busier you are, the higher the number would be. These "hassles" become such a part of our lives that the sheer presence of them no longer alarms us.

But it should.

Studies have shown a direct relationship between the number of daily hassles in a person's life and their health. The higher their number of hassles, the poorer their health. Fortunately, we can turn the tables: When the hassles DECREASE, the quality of health INCREASES.

Are you ready to see what we can do about those daily hassles?

First things first: We have to identify them. Think about the past week. What things provoked you or did you find to be greatly annoying? Write them down - putting a star beside each entry every time they recurred. (Your mother in law may be a four star general if she was in top form.)

Now go back over the list, you'll immediately see the area(s) where your attention is most needed. Depending upon the situation, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Did anything I did/do contribute to the hassle. What could I have done differently?

2. If it were entirely someone else's fault, am I close enough to them to discuss the situation? If they aren't close enough to me that I can reason with them, why am I allocating them enough power to bother me? I'm giving them more power than I'm giving myself.

3. Is there anything at all I can do to erase this hassle from my life?

4. Am I overreacting? (Sometimes, things seem much worse to us than they will when we're a little further removed.)

Every hassle that you remove improves your health, your happiness and ultimately your life. But what about the hassles beyond your control? The ones that you have to look at and just say, "It is what it is."?

There's only one thing you can do about these static cling hassles. You have to inject more fun, laughter and relaxation into your life. This does more than just make your inner child smile - it balances out the hassles. It's when there's no balance that you really have a big problem. That's one of the reasons a round of golf or an evening of tv is so deep-down satisfying. It's like our psyche knows it's time for recess.

Take up tennis or golf, watch Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy or Sanford and Son reruns, go out for ice cream with your family, adopt a pet from the local shelter, adopt two pets from the local shelter, devour old "Bloom County" books, have a coconut cream pie milkshake from Sonic...It's impossible to feel anything but good if a pet is at your feet, Barney and Andy are on the tv, Opus and Bill the Cat are nearby, and you're sipping one of these shakes. Yes, studies have been done - in my living room.


It's time for professional help if you find yourself trying to cope with stress in these ways...

  • Putting miniature marshmallows in your ears and humming loudly.

  • Using your Mastercard to pay your Visa and vice-versa.

  • When someone says "have a nice day", telling them you have other plans.

  • Filling out your tax form using Roman numerals.

  • Taping pictures of your boss on watermelons and launching them from high places.

  • Leafing through "National Geographic" and drawing underwear on the natives.

  • Tattooing "Out to Lunch" on your forehead.

  • Buying a subscription to a sleazy magazine and sending it to your boss's wife.

  • Paying your electric bill in pennies.

  • Driving to work in reverse.

  • Reading the dictionary upside down and looking for secret messages.

  • Starting a nasty rumor and see if you recognize it when it comes back to you.

  • Staring at people through the prongs of a fork and pretending they're in jail.

  • Making up a language and asking people for directions in it.

  • Billing your doctor for time spent in his waiting room.

  • Calling up everyone in your address book and when they answer, saying "I must have the wrong number".

Get rid of the hassles you can, and balance out the rest!

For articles dealing with stress and relaxation, see the article archives at The Mental Fitness Center.
Monday, May 30, 2005
"There are two kinds of fools: those who can't change their opinions and those who won't." - Josh Billings

It's a Monday and I've got fools on my mind. Might as well, I'll encounter at least one today. They're multiplying....increasing their ranks and their staying power.

Have you ever seen "Invasion of the Body Snatchers?", you know with the pod people. Great movie, very campy. Anyway, there's a place, somewhere today, that the pod fools are springing from and their mission is to take over the world.

"Foolproof systems do no take into account the ingenuity of fools." - Gene Brown

Judging by the looks of things, I can't make up my mind if the first point of attack is Hollywood or Washington. Personally, I think Hollywood is their Mecca and Washington their dream home.

What really scares me is the fact that some of the biggest pod fools are heralded as okay by the masses, looked up to even. Whereas, by contrast, an intellectual/normal person comes along and they act like he has two heads.

I'm still amazed that Kerry came anywhere close to the White House. I'm even more amazed that there are people who are still driving around with his name on their bumper. (To have put it there in the first place didn't show good sense, to leave it there indicates a cry for help.)

"Every fool will find a greater one to admire them." - Bioleau

Look at some of the most searched-out, talked about celebs. Not a functioning brain cell in the group. Yet, they have more money than they could ever spend - while the educators of our world make so little it boggles the mind and turns the stomach.

What's most bothersome is that our young people are emulating and admiring some total and complete fools. They're cloning themselves to look like and be like them and they're doing an amazing job. They should be buying into their own identity, not renting someone else's.

They say that people make a statement with what they're wearing, and how they do their hair. True. A lot of our young, and not so young people are screaming, "I'm a fool and I like it!" Sometimes I'll see a Wally Cleaver look-alike screaming this very thing and I just want to scream back at him, "I know!". Darling boy, what looks like a million bucks on Nelly looks like counterfeit crap on you. Give him his look back, people are looking, and worse they're laughing.

And young girls, darling baby divas - Paris and the Olson twins are little wisps of girls. Clothes they wear fit them, they don't fit the rest of us. Think about it, the smaller the clothes - the more that shows, through the material as well as around it. If you don't fit what Paris wears, don't wear what Paris fits. Wear what fits you - accentuate the positive curves and hide what you really don't want sticking out from under your top. For the love of God and decency, this goes for all of us, the seasoned divas as well as the baby divas.

It's true enough that you can't judge a book by it's cover, but you can always estimate it's value. Cheap, worn cover. Probably not worth much.

I'm an optimist, so I'm holding out for all the non-fools of the world to unite and force the fools back into their place. They'll never see it coming. They're fools.

Happy Memorial Day!
Thank you to all of the brave men and women who have served or are serving the greatest country in the world,

Sunday, May 29, 2005
It is what it is.
Murphy's First Law: Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Murphy's Second Law: Everything takes longer than you think.

Murphy's Third Law: In any field of endeavor, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Murphy's Fourth Law: If there is a possibility that several things can go wrong, then the one that will cause the greatest damage will be the one to go wrong.

Murphy's Fifth Law: If anything absolutely can NOT go wrong, it will anyway.

Murphy's Sixth Law: If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

Murphy's Seventh Law: Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

Murphy's Eighth Law: If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Murphy's Ninth Law: Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Murphy's Tenth Law: Mother Nature is a son-of-a-gun.

Murphy's Eleventh Law: It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so very ingenious.

Murphy's Twelfth Law: Things get worse under pressure.

Not long ago, we were in Cracker Barrel (great, now I have a crave on), and this woman was complaining to the manager about her meatloaf. Her face was all distorted, her voice going back and forth between whiney and angry...she was, as Opie would have said, "A sight."

Two things occurred to me while watching her meltdown - #1. I'd never, ever want to work with people in any way involving their feeding rituals. They get pissy at best, psychotic at worst. #2. People get too flipping tore up these days! You see someone making an ignoramus out of themself daily. They're furious because the car ahead is driving too slowly, they're indignant because the car behind them's on their tail, they're outraged because they have to stand in line for 2 minutes, they're on the verge of crying because they got fries instead of onion rings...then we wonder why the rate of heart disease and stress-related disorders are so high.

We're making ourselves crazy, that's why!

Sometimes things ARE worth getting upset over. Most of the time, in our day to day experiences, however, they just aren't worth much more than a raised eyebrow. If it's really bad, raise both. Any more facial rearranging than this is just plain ugly. You really don't want to go there.

Oddly enough, one of the things that can help you save face (couldn't resist) is as simple as 5 little words - "It is what it is." Next time your internet connection is painfully slow or you come across the worker from hell in JCPenney's (I've met her), just say this phrase. It reminds you to keep things in their proper place, that there are lots of messed up, just plain wrong things that happen to us and around us that are beyond our control.

It's a laid-back, Sunday afternoon type phrase that'll see you through the other 6 days. Granted, on Mondays you may have to say it a couple hundred times, but give it a try.

"When you lose control, you're no longer in control."

Saturday, May 28, 2005
Function: (intransitive verb)
Inflected Forms: func·tioned; func·tion·ing /-sh(&-)ni[ng]/ - the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group; "the function of a teacher"; "do one's part"; "play one's role"

One afternoon nearly a year ago, I got a wild hair, threw caution to the wind and asked my young daughters if they'd like to go to the mall. (duh) They got ready in record time - #1 and #3 don't have the primp-like-there's-going-to-be-a-contest genes of their mother. #2 DOES DOES DOES DOES, but ever the trouper, she readied herself pretty darned fast. When we got into the van, she was frowning at herself in the mirror and repositioning hairs every which way. I felt a twinge of guilt for springing this on her. You just can't spring a trip to the mall on a teen-aged girl. One has to have time to prepare physically, emotionally and mentally for the occasion. I failed as a parent that day.

Anyway, we rode across town with a few more huffs and puffs and glares in the mirror (I'm never sure what's funnier: #2 at work, how the curse my mom put on me during my teen years came true, or the way #1 and #3 watch #2 in abject horror.)

Okay, harmlessly enough I thought it'd be a good idea to stop for coffee on the way, we all LOVE iced mochas. #2, who withdrew clutz genes as well from her mother's gene bank, spilled a little on her (AUUUUGHHHH!) favorite jeans. So now we have hair that isn't doing at all what she intended for it to do, and now there's something on her jeans - all while headed to the mall. It wasn't a pretty sight. My girl went postal.

#1 and I tried to reason with her. BTW, the # system doesn't denote rank or favor - just age. 1's the oldest, 2's second, 3's the baby. #1 did some fancy talking about how she could go to the girl's room and wash it off, and dry it under the blower...etc etc. (Still postal) This continued for about 5 minutes, then the three of us fell silent from exhastion. #2 started up again, and #3 who was growing bored with it all looked at her and said, "FUNCTION!!"

Silent again. Then the next comment was from a back to herself #2...."I'll just wash it off in the girl's room. No biggie." (I swore for a moment #1 was going to punch her...) We went to the mall, had a great day, end of drama.

I've often thought of the "FUNCTION" command since that day. There are a lot of people in the world right now who simply aren't functioning. Scary thing is, it's becoming not only acceptable, but socially "in".

Before continuing, let me say that I know there are plenty of emotional and mental disorders that require medication. Some people have legitimate chemical imbalances that require balancing. Others have other disabilities that need medical treatment. However, I just can't believe that all of the people need to be on all of the medication that all of the doctors are scribbling on all of the prescription pads.

There are meds for practically every human function. "Do you want more passion in your life?"...PASSION PILL. "Need to be more socially confident?"....SOCIAL PILL. "Men, wanna but can't?"....THRILL PILL! "Want to eat less?....APPETITE KILL PILL! "Kid's can't sit still?"...HYPERACTIVE PILL! "Want to burn more calories?"...BURN 'EM UP PILL! Sadly, the list goes on.

Makes you just want to yell "FUNCTION!!!" to the whole world.

Now, I'm not old, but I do remember when a little silk gown from Victoria's Secret and a little perfume were all that a person needed for extra passion incentive....a hotel room at the most.

I'm no Dr. Ruth, but it seems to me that if people are having trouble feeling passion or if their sex drive is in park, there must be something contributing to it. After all, sex isn't a new thing, people've been doing it for centuries - without a prescription, well, without that prescription. (Sweet Mary, mother of God, what will my daughters say when they read this?)

A few contributing factors are probably stress, plain old exhastion and maybe even low self image. Think about it - everybody works these days..sun up to sun down, chasing the great dream. Relationships are shattering left and right, but each can drive away in an expensive vehicle. Sickening trade off.

I'd say that people in this scenario need to slow the heck down. Spend more time together, refamiliarize, reconnect, rekindle, recapture and you'll recall the rest.

Another factor is self-image. Good grief! (I just channelled Charlie Brown) How could we not feel inferior these days? There are nude and near nude images of people everywhere. So called "ideal" men and women are before our eyes everywhere - commercials, magazines, most definitely the internet. What it helps to realize is that the majority of these "perfect-looking" people aren't really any more perfect-looking than you are. As a matter of fact, all the work these cats have had is starting to show up and it's frightening. Think of them in 10 years!

[When you're in a weird mood, here's a link you might want to check out. Bookmark it, though, there are lots of crazy pics and articles to sort through. Yes it's offensive, yes it's crude, but danged if it's not funny. I welcome funny in my day, so here it is: Awful Plastic Surgery. The great stuff is linked at the right. By all means search out Melanie Griffith, Bruce Jenner and Farrah. Why do people do this to themselves?!]

In addition to the fact that a lot of what we see is the work of a knife, A lot of what we see isn't even there! For example in her newest movie, Jessica Simpson has a butt double - for pictures as well as onscreen. They showed actual pics of her and her rear is as flat as a McDonald's pancake. So, apparently, the people in charge have a butt girl standing by to strut in for the rear shots. If you think about it, it's all kind of funny. Jessica's a lovely girl, but someone somewhere was afraid she wasn't perfect enough so some gal got to add a really odd description to her resume.

If self-image IS a problem, hit the walking trail and put down the doughnuts. Work on your body until you're loving yourself some you.

As for the social anxiety, one of the best things one can do for themself is to work on their self confidence. That's all it boils down to, in my opinion. If you're doubting yourself, there's no way in Heaven you want to be in front of others. If you're feeling confident, no one could hold you back. Work on your self image. If you're afraid you wouldn't know what to talk about socially, read more, listen more, broaden your horizons.

You can't find confidence inside a pill, you find it inside yourself.

Now the one that drives me the craziest - can you phathom the number of kids on meds for hyperactivity? Come on, kids have always been kids. That's what they should be - NOT miniature adults. If they are having trouble sitting still, try discipline. Maybe it ultimately comes back to the overly busy adult theme of above. If one parent's going this way and one's going that way, who's going with the kid? Then, when everyone is together, the parents have such a "I should be around more" guilt thing going on that they are scared to death to say "No". Spending more time together as a family is one of the biggest needs we have in our society. It worked in the generations before us. Their cars may not have been as fancy, but they were all together in them. Hmmm, maybe that's why cars are getting smaller and smaller.

Sad, that.

On your life's journey, keep in mind, U-Turns aren't only allowed, they're encouraged.

Thursday, May 26, 2005
An Hour a Day Keeps Mediocrity At Bay...
I'm still reeling from last night's American Idol (Outrage!!!), but I'll try to post a post worth reading anyway. It's just hard to focus when you're in a tither. (Ever been in a tither? It's exhasting.) Bo should've won, man. He gave life and energy (and a pleasantry known as talent) to a show that often comes up short on all three.

Usually my tithers are scheduled around UK Basketball, Bronco's Football or Cardinal's Baseball - I space them out, seasonally. But since I started watching a few reality shows, I've found that the opportunities for slinging pillows at the tv screen and stomping off to the shower have increased. American Idol launched five pillows this season - one for each: Nikko, Anwar, Constantine, Vonzell and (crys in pain) Bo. Each of these future stars left with lesser talents remaining.

Survivor wasn't as bad - only two pillows. I was in Steph and Ian's corners. I liked Tom (the winner) though so I don't have a hate-on for this particular show. AI's a different story, though. I'm hating on them with a cruel, exhaustive and unchristian hatred. Simon had his fave picked out from day one. The girl has a pretty good voice, but absolutely no audience interaction or charisma. My houseshoes have more sex appeal and life than her. Maybe it's something that others can help her with. She seems like a sweetie, and I wish her nothing but the best. She just wasn't the best. Lucky for her, she apparently fits the bill for what they need in an idol. With past winners fighting them over contracts, etc....I think they wanted someone who couldn't even spell attorney.

At any rate, Bo brought back Southern Rock and I don't think for one moment I have to worry about him. That cat's gonna be fine! He does what he does like no one else does what he does.

The segue was pathetic, but that brings me to the post. (Can you believe "segue" chooses to spell it's name like this rather than "segway"? Must be European)

"There's only an hour a day between a good housewife and a great one." - Ancient Proverb

The word housewife can be replaced with any title and the message is the same. Whether you insert salesman, wife, painter, student, writer, husband, journalist, whatever.

One hour can make all the difference, taking us from Level A: Good to Level B: Great. If a writer spent 60 extra minutes a day on his craft, the improvements would spill out of his pen. If a college student devoted 60 more minutes to studying each day, she'd cement her name on the honor roll.

It isn't that difficult to work an extra hour of effort into your day. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to split the time up 30 mins at a time, or even 15 mins. The only thing that matters is you're asking more of yourself. An amazing thing happens when we ask more of ourselves - we rise to the occasion and grow. In the same way, when we "get comfortable" with ourselves, we sit and stunt our growth.

Once you make up your mind to improve yourself and commit the extra time to doing so, you'll begin seeing rewards immediately.

"Whatever you are, be a good one." - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
From Winky to Websites...
You want answers?
I want the truth!
You can't handle the truth!
- A Few Good Men

Great movie. Greater line.
I was researching a subject for TMFC this morning and came across a pretty enlightening article on Ask Men.com. Here's a link to the article, but be warned that Ask Men is kind of like a male Cosmo. Your grandfather's articles don't reside here. I think he'd get a kick out of the site though. Anyway, check it out: Top 10 Things That Make Men Happy

While reading the article, one of the "10 things" really stood out. It was under #7, Honesty and Truth. ....

Receiving a pat on the back when we do things right is nice, but it's even nicer to be told when we're wrong....

True, that. So true, that.

Absolutely anyone can tell us what we want to hear. Heck, we're pretty good at that ourselves. But the ideal person to have in your corner is the one who will tell you the good & the bad. Not just the bad, to be sure, but not just the good either.

What good would it do Winky Wright to have a yes man in his corner between rounds? What if Felix Trinidad had been pounding him inside, yet everytime WW went to his corner, he heard "Yeah, baby, Yeah!!! Looking good, looking good." He'd go back out there, get pounded again...and again....and again.

Encouragement's a glorious thing, but encouragement can also get you TKO-ed.

I love to see the boxers go to their corners and the trainers ask them, "What are you do-ing?! *%^%(!! Get your hands up!!", and then tell them what they should be doing instead of what they are doing. That's what they're there for - to help.

Relationships are that way, too, hopefully without the *%^%(!!. Whether it's a spouse, significant other, daughter, son, mother, father, or friend - we should be able to accept, and even welcome the "What are you do-ings?!" just as graciously as the "Yeah, baby, yeah's!!" Maybe even more so, because it takes SO much nerve and even more love to tell someone close to us something they don't want to hear.

It's like casting yourself as the evil witch in The Wizard of Oz. As a mother of three I've had to stradle the broom more than once. Not fun. Not pretty.

However, the street known as Honesty isn't a one way road. It's travelled in two directions. If you want honest, reliable people around you, you have to accept that. If you want dishonest, unreliable people around you, you'll find them on a different road. But you won't like where it leads.

I remember one of the first websites I made. I thought I had waxed creatively brilliant, and fully expected the world to turn on it's axis and acknowledge me. The Husband looked at it, picked up the broom and realigned my axis. OMG, he found so many problems...this that this that. He was Simon Cowell to my William Hung.

After a few minutes of scowling (hours are made up of minutes, after all), I went to the website and asked myself - "Why are you so ticked, really? Is it because he didn't say enough good things, is it because you're disappointed, is it because your knight on a white horse turned INTO the fire breathing dragon or.....is is all of these things PLUS the fact that he was right?

I took an honest look at the things he had pointed out. He was right. In fact, he was so right, that when I look back - I would have been mortified if I had put the page on the web as it was.

What if he had said, "Yeah, baby, yeah!!"? What if he had seen the look of pride on my face and just left it there?

That's not the sort of person I'd want in my corner. I want one who inspires me to win, encourages me to fight, and insists that I get what I deserve.

Me and Winky? We swing like that.

~ Joi
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." - Howard Hoffman

OMG, I love that quote! I have it written on an index card and placed it on my desk where I see it daily. For more reallllllllly great quotes by Mr. Hoffman, here's a link that not only has his words but includes his art work as well. The quotes are printed individually on a page along with a pic of his artwork. Makes great refrigerator art when printed and cut. Interesting (and gifted) man. Howard Hoffman on Life

IF..never have cared for the word, personally. He's a neutral fence-rider. He's unattached, uninspired, and uncommitted. He hasn't any affiliates/doesn't want any affiliates/couldn't get them IF he wanted them. He's a nonpartisan for crying out loud!!

Sad thing is:

I'm an enabler! The creative, productive corner of my mind will think of a new website or project. Then a brain cell from the enabler camp will pipe up with, "IF you find the time, you mean." Another adds, "IF it's okay with so and so and all's well with such and such." Then they all cry out their fight song, "IF you can even do it at all!!" By then what I had been so fired up about has been reduced to a smolder.

That's what the IFs specialize in - putting out fires.

However, in Hoffman's quote, the uninspired teeny little word is necessary and justified. After all, he's being a team player and making a very viable point. IF we keep doing like we'd always been doing, we can't expect any better from life than what it's serving us right now. Don't like something in your current serving? Do something about it and start today.

Maybe you like what you're being served right now. Maybe your health (can't remember your last cold), physical fitness (ideal weight, muscle mass, totally freakin' your look), family relationships (perfect kids, perfect spouse, perfect parents, near-perfect in-laws), and bank account (more than you could possibly spend) are all thriving perfectly: with no room for improvement.

IF that's the case, you should be writing your own blog - I've got nothing for you!

For the rest of us (re: all of us), there's always room for improvement. Even when our family relationships are wonderful, our finances and/or health & physical fitness probably could use some work.

(I, um...er, am speaking personally here on the physical fitness thing. I walked yesterday for about 45 minutes and am hobbling around like an ancient.)

When you see IF, it generally means something isn't happening. There are restrictions or possible roadblocks ahead. Stipulations.

Beware the word.

I have to painfully shuffle off for lunch now, so this post is nearing it's end - as I go to pad mine.

I guess it won't get too padded IF I get a salad.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Mondays: Laugh or Cry!
I stopped letting Mondays shock me years ago. I've come to expect the twisted sense of humor that this day brings to the party of life. As a matter of fact, if it ever showed up wearing the grace of Tuesday, the submissiveness of Wednesday, the refinement of Thursday, the party vibe of Friday, the free spirit of Saturday or the serenity Sunday I'd be disappointed. The universe would be turned on it's proverbial, celestial ear.

Monday is meant to be manic, comical, can't-believe-that-just-happened-oh-wait!-it-is-Monday-after-all, awkward and damnable. Leave the loafers for Wednesday and give Saturday it's Reeboks - Monday, being cloven-footed, needs neither.

At this end, it's 7:42 AM and it's already working the Harpo Marx facade. Cretinous little ants are marching in through the back door, the coffee is too strong, offspring won't spring up, the internet connection is maddeningly slow, I've got a baseball loss hangover (My Cardinals lost yesterday. Er, to the Royals.) Went to get dressed, a mustard stain was on my top of choice. I don't eat mustard.

It has even affected our cats. The one inside is in a reflective, distant mood, as though she's just now feeling a wrong from long ago. She's harboring ill will toward someone, I just hope it isn't me.

"O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper. I would not be mad." - William Shakespeare

Our outside cat got into trash the night before and has a air of satisfaction on her face. She knows she contributed mightily to the Monday mania and, I swear, was smiling as I cleaned up the mess. (Have you ever noticed what work voyeurs cats are?)

I wonder why it is that we're often the most thrown by the small things in life. If I had broken an ankle getting out of bed, I would've taken it in a hobbled stride. [ Memo to the Monday gods, I'm not tempting you!] But let a few tiny little annoyances pile up, and I crumble like a cookie. Crumble like a cookie? How trite, how predictable, how common, how threadbare. How perfect for a Monday.

"What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?" - George Orwell

Sunday, May 22, 2005
Time Matters
"In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes: So with present time." -Leonardo Da Vinci

I've been thinking about time alot lately. I'm not sure why, really, but if my mind had a blog of it's own, the entries would be Currently...Thinking about: TIME, Listening to: TIME, Watching: TIME, Missing: TIME. I'm all up in time's business and it's all up in mine.

My mind and I have come to a few conclusions.

Whatever is in the past is gone. That water has flowed past and isn't coming back. Many people get caught up looking at past mistakes, pains, or losses. We seem to be in love with punishing ourselves by reliving things that were horrible enough the first time. Doing so is equivalent to rebreaking your own arm to recall what it felt like. Stupid? Absolutely. Common? Absolutely.

We can also get hung up on the pleasant moments in the past, clinging to them for dear life, as though we can WILL back the person, place or thing we're missing in our present. But by doing so, we are MISSING OUR PRESENT.

My husband, our daughters and I used to do a lot of travelling. We'd just load up, grab the atlas and take off for....well, wherever we ended up! (You find the most interesting places and tastiest burgers this way.) When the girls would look down at toys, their hands, their feet, books, whatever - he'd always say, "Look around you at things you may never see again, not at things you've already seen." True, that.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Push the Boundaries!
I recently added an article to our website, The Mental Fitness Center entitled "Don't Settle". The author inspired me with each word that I read and subsequently typed. By the end of the article, I was ready to go out and takecareofbusiness.

How often do we settle for something and label it "good enough"? (Two words that, when used separately, are harmless enough. But when combined - - empires crumble!)

Thigh spread, broken friendships, pre-mature aging, love handles, strained marriages, shattered dreams, bouncing checks, bad breath, bankruptcy...."good enough" begets more spoil than a democrat in office.

"I've walked 30 minutes, 30 more would double my efforts....nah, 1/2 an hour's good enough." (Memo to butt: stick around.)

"Okay, I made 3 cold calls today. I could make a few more or knock off for a round of golf. Three's "good enough", my short game needs work." (Soon, the short game may not be the only one looking for work!)

Even when we DO GOOD...why not go for GREAT??? What all could we accomplish if we made it a habit to push boundaries? Not only the boundaries that have been set for us, but the ones that we've set for ourselves.

Think of boundaries this way:
In late winter, I like to give my spring and summer flowers a headstart. I place them in tiny, teensy little peat containers until they've grown enough to be transplanted to larger containers.

If, after they had gotten their stems beneath them, they were made to stay in these little containers, what would happen? With no room to grow, they wouldn't grow. With no growth for living, they wouldn't live.

While the scenario for us is less dramatic than that of a marigold, stunted growth is stunted growth.

All of us have more greatness in us than we realize. Which presents the mother of all problems, because it all has to start with us! The journey begins right inside of us.

We'll never truly get our groove on until we BELIEVE IT, second WORK IT, and third PROVE IT.

The next time the words good and enough are running through your mind holding hands, break 'em up, no good comes from the union!!

Better still, make it a "forcesome" by adding the upstarts, Not and Nearly.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Why a Blog?
First post. Awkward as kissing in front of your mom. Okay, it's not that awkward.

Why blog?

(In a nasal little Beaver Cleaver voice) "Everybody else is!" True, that. But the real reason is to have a means to communicate better with visitors and friends-to-be. There are often things on my mind that just aren't "website-appropriate" (sometimes they're really not appropriate. Period. Another story.). All goes on blogs, though...the playground of the internet!

Sometimes the posts will be fluff, nothing more than a rant and rave over a St. Louis loss (Phillies split a series with us? Phillies??) or something bizarre that catches my eye in the newspaper (The democrats are keeping a pretty low profile lately. Where's my boy Kerry: fodder, fodder, fodder...). I just might wade into the deep end on occasion and say something meaningful. 'Twill be a goal.

This is new, virgin grounds with us (Myself and the other publishers behind "The Mental Fitness Center" constitute "us" - not voices in my head. I never speak of them. To them, but never of them.), so please be gentle in your posts. We'll get better as we go along. If not, we won't "go along" - we'll just go.